Do Christians have to be baptized in the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues
or is it also possible to speak tongues when they are water baptized?
This definitely would not fall into the area of Christian
evidences, but let me take a stab at this one, based on the Bible study I
have done concerning the gifts of the Spirit.
My study of the Bible has led me to believe that the
miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit were always imparted by the laying on
of hands of an apostle. Acts chapter eight seems to strongly support this
claim. When Philip went to Samaria, he was not able to impart the
miraculous gifts, so he called for the apostles to come to the city to
impart the gifts to the new disciples in that city. I know of only two
examples in the New Testament in which miraculous gifts were given apart
from the laying on of hands of an apostle. These two events were in Acts
chapter two and Acts chapter ten. The day of Pentecost was a miraculous
pouring out of the Holy Spirit which had been prophesied by Jesus (Acts
1:5, Matthew 3:11). The event which occurred at the home of Cornelius,
which announced salvation for the Gentiles was a similar thing, as Peter
reported to the other disciples (Acts 11:15).
So, as far as I know, the baptism of the Holy Spirit was an
event which occurred only at Pentecost (Acts 2) and at Cornelius’ house
(Acts 10). I would not expect to see such a miraculous pouring out of the
Spirit during my lifetime. Both of these events were extremely special.
The first was the initial gospel sermon, and the second was the
announcement of salvation for the Gentiles.
As far as the receiving of the miraculous gifts, I believe
this is also something which will not be happening in my lifetime, as
there are no more living apostles to hand off these gifts. Historical
records in the very early church confirms that the miraculous gifts had
all but disappeared by about AD 100, as the generation of the apostles and
those who had been given the gifts by them were already dying out.
So, could a person speak in tongues today or have prophecy or
the ability to heal by the Holy Spirit? I suppose that I cannot rule that
out, but I see no biblical support for saying that this will happen or how
it will happen. What about all those who believe they speak in tongues
today, or those who claim to heal by the Holy Spirit? I will let you
decide for yourself by what spirit these people do what they do. Perhaps
there is some sort of psychological phenomenon in effect. Perhaps God is
working in a way which he does not lay out in the Bible. I cannot say for
sure. I can only say what the Bible teaches.
That brings us to water baptism. Of course, Acts 2:36-38
teaches that when one repents of sin and is baptized into Jesus Christ,
one receives the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit and forgiveness of sins.
There is no promise of miraculous gifts associated with this passage.
What is received when we are baptized into Christ is forgiveness of sins,
and the Holy Spirit living in us. That is an awesome thing, but I do not
see a biblical connection between that and the gifts. In fact, in Acts
10, the people there had the Spirit poured out on them and they were not
even baptized yet. In Acts 8, people are baptized (saved), but do not
have the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit because no apostle laid hands
In conclusion, I see no connection between being baptized into
Christ and the ability to work miracles, at least not from my study of the
Bible. Anyone who teaches otherwise, should explain him/herself from the
Bible. I hope this answers your question.